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Archive for October, 2009

This is the last of the apple posts…at least for a little while!  Apple Butter soon to come…but I have a few things planned first!

This stew is super simple to make, and has a slightly sweet flavor that compliments the beef nicely!

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Ingredients:

1 lb Sirloin tip roast cut into bite sized pieces
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp flour
3 Cups water
4 beef bouillon cubes
3 Cups Apple Cider
½ lb carrots – peeled and chopped
3 large potatoes – cleaned (peeling is optional) and chopped
1 med onion – chopped
1 tsp basil
¼ tsp thyme
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

In large pot, brown beef in oil and flour just until all sides are browned.  Add remaining ingredients and simmer until veggies are fork tender and beef is cooked through.  I have a gas stove, so this only takes about a half hour on simmer, but an electric stove will take longer.

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I found a great recipe for mini cheesecakes on bakerlla.com.  While they look great as they are, I just had to make them my own!

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Follow the link above for the original recipe which is for mini cherry cheesecakes.  I’ve listed below what I did!

Ingredients:

2 pkg. (8oz.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 Tbsp lemon juice

2 tsp ground cinnamon

48 mini nilla wafers

48 1.25″  diameter baking cups (the mini ones from Wilton)

1 can apple pie filling chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°.  In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until well blended.  Add sugar, eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice.  Blend well.  Add ground cinnamon to the batter and work just until blended.

Line mini muffin tin with liners.  Drop one mini Nilla wafer into each liner.  Fill with cheesecake batter (note, I used the Pampered Chef small cookie scoop to fill mine and it worked awesome!)  Note most mini muffin tins have 24 cups in them, so you will need to bake twice!  Bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool 15 – 20 minutes before removing from pan.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours.  Top with apple pie filling and a sprinkle of additional cinnamon!  Enjoy!

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I have failed!!!

I attempted to make apple bread last week one day!  I have failed.  And failed terribly!  I don’t recall ever a time when I have baked something that did not get eaten in my house!  This was it!  In fact, we threw more than 1/2 of it out!

I refuse to give up!  I want to find a recipe to try again!  Anyone?  Please?  Have a recipe that you love for apple bread?  I need to bake again!  I need to succeed at this!

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Apple Pie!!!

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Ok…so I usually don’t bake my pie’s with a crust from scratch.  Frankly, why bother!  The store bought, already rolled out crust are fairly good, and super easy to use, not to mention actually very inexpensive when you start to look at all the ingredients in a crust.  But, I recently purchased a huge bag of pastry flour and just had to give this a try!  I found the recipe for the crust online, but honestly can’t remember where as I printed it out after pasting it into MS Word many months ago.  I have however rewritten the instructions to make them easier to follow!  The filling, that is something that I’ve just done forever!  Think I have my mom to thank for that one!

Crust:

2 1/2 cups pastry flour, plus extra for rolling out the crust

1 cup butter, cut into 1/2″ cubes and well chilled

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

4 – 6 Tbsp ice water

Directions:

Start by cubing the butter.  Stick into freezer and allow to remain there at least 15 minutes.

In food processor, combine flour, salt and sugar.  Pulse to mix.  Add the very well chilled butter pieces and pulse until mixture is crumbly and you can see pea size pieces of butter.  Begin to add the ice water 1 Tbsp at a time, pulsing the mixture slightly to incorporate.  Add only enough water to bring the dough together (hint, it should still be crumbly, but if pinched, will hold together nicely.)  You may not need all 6 Tbsp of water, or you may need slightly more.

Remove dough from food processor until a clean and dry surface.  Shape into 2 disks, kneading just enough to bring the dough together.  (Remember, those small bits of butter will be your friend!  Do not knead them into the dough!!!)  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1/2 hour.

Remove dough from refrigerator and place on lightly floured surface.  Roll out with a rolling pin to a 12″ circle with the dough about 1/8″ thick.  Place in pie plate.

Filling:

6 large apples

1 C sugar

3 Tbsp cinnamon (note, I love cinnamon..you may want to tone this down)

1/3 C flour

1 Tbsp butter, very thinly sliced

OK…now is the time to begin to preheat your oven.  400°.  Peel, core, and thinly slice apples.  Toss with sugar, cinnamon, and flour.  Pour into prepared bottom crust.  Top with thin slices of butter.  Roll out remaining crust, place onto of filling and seal the edges of the 2 crust together.  You will need to slit so ventilation!

Beat 1 egg white in small bowl and brush over the top of the crust.  Bake pie 45 minutes to 1 hour, until apples are cooked through and crust is golden brown.

We topped our pie with fresh whipped cream!  There really is no better topping!!!!
Do you bake pies?  From scratch or do you use pre-made crust?


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Wealthy Apples

I realized that I didn’t share what apples we were trying.  The variety is Wealthy.  The orchard that we bought them at classifies them as a cooking apple, but I have to say, we have enjoyed a couple already just as they are!  They make a great eating apple in my opinion.  They are a little tart, but very crisp and I love the white flesh inside!

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